Sunday, July 31, 2005
By Steven L. Taylor

Via Reuters: Oregon anti-meth law would require prescriptions

A bill passed by lawmakers on Saturday would make Oregon the first U.S. state to require a doctor’s prescription for cold medicines containing an ingredient that can be used to make the illegal drug methamphetamine.

“We hope this will reduce the supply” of meth, Democratic state Sen. Ginny Burdick told Reuters after the Senate passed the bill.

Oregon’s House of Representatives approved the measure earlier this month and Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski was expected to sign it.

The bill has widespread support, but critics say it would hurt people without medical insurance who cannot afford to go to a doctor for a cold or an allergy.

More than that: it will just drive up generic health costs. It is ridiculous that right now one has to go to the doctor to get a prescription for any number of allergy medications (does the public really need tight control on Zyrtec and Flonase?), now Oregon is going to make you go to the doctor for a stuffy nose? And probably the doctor will, at that point, write a scrip for a more expensive medication (heck, if I’m going to the doctor, might as well get the best stuff I can get, right?).

Further: if it would require a scrip for any medication simply containing pseudoephredrine, then a lot of stuff, like Claritin-D, that finally went to OTC and to cheaper generic versions, would become non-OTC again (not to mention things like Tylenol Cold or Nyquil).

This is asinine.

This is a typical overreaction to a drug problem–as if a few rules will be sufficient. I suspect that the net effect will be more crime related to stealing sudafed and/or an underground economy in products containing pseudoephedrine–which basically compounds the problem.

And while the following is annoying for the honest sinus pressure sufferer (not to mention the pharmacists), I can live with it:

The U.S. Congress is considering a bill that would move medicines containing pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed, NyQuil, and Tylenol Cold, behind pharmacy counters and limit how much one person can buy to 7.5 grams a month — the equivalent of roughly 250 30-milligram tablets.

Although I was out running errands after 8 pm the other, and one of the items on my list was decongestants as I often suffer from sinus headaches. I couldn’t buy any because both the pharmacy in Target and the one at the grocery store were already closed and pseudoephedrine is behind the counter, so I couldn’t get any.

I did notice yesterday at Sam’s that Sudafed now has a non-pseudoephedrine version. I am not sure how well it works, and, of course, there is no generic at this point.

Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments/Trackbacks (5)|
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

5 Responses to “A Prescription for Sudafed?? Yeesh”

  1. Terry Says:

    Alternative is probably based on phenylephrine. It has been been out for a while, so expect to see a generic before too long. It is reputed to be as effective as psuedoephedrine and slightly safer (fewer side effects).

    All this is going to do is drive psuedoephidrine off the US market, which may be the actual intent of the legislation in the first place. Of course, the pharmacuetical companies will still sell it overseas, which in effect will make CM an import drug once again. Since the advent of small meth labs using the red phosphorous or other processes has been a large part of the reason that the the problem of the violent meth gangs running out of Mexico has declined so precipitously (ain’t competative market pressures amazing?), expect that situation to heat back up rather quickly.

  2. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:


  3. Sean Hackbarth Says:

    Wisconsin recently restricted these type of sales. I rarely use any cold medication. The one I use is Advil Cold gelcaps. It contains pseudoephedrine but in a liquid form. That makes is tougher to use in making crystal meth. Lucky me.

  4. Jan Says:

    My kids have allergies and I buy the Wal-mart generic form of Claritin-D for my middle son. The used to sell it in a 10 pack but now they only seem to have it in the 5 pack. I was going to buy 2 boxes of the 5 pack (as one box won’t last a whole week) and the computer wouldn’t allow me to buy both boxes. To me this is completely rediculous because you can still buy the brand name in a 10 pack but it is more expensive than 2 of the generic five packs. So irritating!

  5. PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » Scenes from the Drug War: the Domestic Front Says:

    [...] aluminum foil.” What I find highly problematic about all of this (which is linked to the whole business about limiting law-abiding access to pseuodephedrine), is that because catching the methhe [...]

blog advertising is good for you

Visitors Since 2/15/03

Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics



Powered by WordPress